Why identifying angina early is essential?


Recently, the Association of Physicians of India (API), along with global healthcare company Abbott, initiated the first ever ‘Angina Awareness Week’ in India. They aim to highlight the importance of early angina diagnosis and its optimal management to reduce the risk of cardiac events and improve patient outcomes.

Angina, experienced as discomfort, pain, heaviness, or squeezing in the chest, is a common initial symptom of coronary artery disease. As per the Global Burden of Disease study, cardiovascular diseases strike Indians a decade earlier than the Western population. The study also states that India's death rate of 272 per 1,00,000 population due to cardiovascular diseases is much higher than that of the global average of 235. This makes it especially vital to pay attention to warning signs and one of the foremost is angina, which is often described as squeezing, pressure, heaviness, tightness or pain in the chest.

“It is vital to address the early age of onset and rapid disease progression of the CVD in a timely manner. With the country also recording the highest rate of coronary artery disease worldwide, it is essential to bring more awareness to symptoms like angina, which commonly affect Indians, but are often neglected. By supporting the country’s general practitioners and cardiologists through various measures and tools, we aim to strengthen effective diagnosis and disease management," said Dr. Milind Y Nadkar, President, Association of Physicians of India.

Identifying angina early is essential to start interventions and help delay disease progression, alleviate symptoms, and reduce the risk of more serious cardiac events while avoiding additional healthcare costs.

Recognizing this, Abbott, the pharma company, developed three unique tools, including the OPTA clinical checklist, OPTA questionnaire, and OPTA approach, to support angina’s diagnosis, prognosis, and medical management respectively. A study titled, 'Self-reported chronic heart disease and symptom-based angina pectoris among middle-aged and older Indian adults,' by Chanda Maurya from the International Institute of Population Sciences, revealed that individuals with hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, and family history of heart disease were more likely to have angina than their healthy counterparts.

“Angina remains an under-diagnosed condition in India, even today. As a result of this, many do not receive optimal treatment. It’s important to address this challenge given the growing burden of cardiovascular diseases, as well as its associated cost to the country of roughly 2.17 trillion US dollars between 2012 and 2030," said Dr. Ashwini Pawar, medical director, Abbott India.

Minimally invasive procedures, and innovative technologies, such as devices for connected care and diagnostics that use artificial intelligence (AI), will play an important role in early detection, monitoring, and personalized treatment options. These therapies will help reduce recovery time, minimize complications, and improve patient outcomes.

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